Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA gives Brownfields Job Training grant to University of Hawai'i

Release Date: 3/31/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $196,877 grant to the University of Hawai'i that will be used to train underemployed students of Kalihi and adjacent communities in Honolulu, in environmental health and safety to prepare them for work in the environmental field.

"This program will provide quality job training to the students who will make up the environmental work force of the future," said Keith Takata, Superfund division director for the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Region.

The university plans to train 60 students, achieve a 75 percent placement rate, and track students for one year. The 240-hour training program will include hazardous materials handling, environmental health and safety, and risks posed by hazardous waste sites. Course work will be followed by 120 hours of on-the-job training supervised by potential employers. Finally, the students will be placed in environmental jobs through the university's partnerships with environmental, construction, and other industries.

The new round of Brownfields Job Training Grants will teach environmental cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living in low-income areas near Brownfields sites in 16 communities. To date, more than 60 percent of people completing Brownfields training programs have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $12.84. A total of $2.4 million will be awarded to 16 communities in 13 states, to provide environmental job training at Brownfields sites.

"These grants focus on achieving results," said U.S. EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt. "They train people for real jobs, jobs that help restore neighborhoods, protect public health and build strong communities."

Today's announcement brings to 82 the number of grants awarded since the job training program started in 1998. Sixty-six pilots totaling $13.6 million are underway or complete; more than 1,800 participants have completed training; and more than 1,100 people have obtained employment in the environmental field. Applicants for the job training program must be located in or near a community that currently receives, or has received, financial assistance from EPA for Brownfields-related activities.

Since 2003, the EPA has provided more than $75 million in all types of Brownfields grants to states, local governments and non-profits under the Brownfields law. The Brownfields Program has also leveraged more than $5 billion in funds from less than $800 million in increased value from redeveloped property. Every acre of reclaimed Brownfields saves 4.5 acres of greenspace such as park and recreation areas. More information on all the grant recipients is available at:
# # #